Report on Interest

Zimbabwe President, others shun Mugabe’s burial

By News Desk

Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and other top government officials were absent as the former President, Robert Mugabe, was laid to rest in the courtyard of his home in Kutama, the village where he was born, three weeks after his death at the age 95.

At the buried which took place at about 90km (55 miles) west of the capital Harare, no senior government officials were among the audience at a pre-burial service in Kutama which was attended by hundreds of mourners.

Mugabe died in a Singapore hospital on 6 September, nearly two years after a coup ended his 37 years in power. And since his death, the government and the family had been at loggerheads over the status of the burial for the late freedom fighter.

After weeks of arguments with the government, the Mugabe family decided on a private burial in Kutama, a location close to where his late mother, Bona was buried; to honour his last wish.

The Ministers, however, wanted the body to rest at the National Heroes Acre in Harare. A mausoleum for the former president was being constructed at the site, which is reserved for heroes of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

In Kutama, Mugabe’s widow Grace and his children accompanied the coffin, which was draped in the green, yellow, red and black flag of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe, a guerrilla leader who fought against white minority rule in what was then Rhodesia, took power after independence from Britain in 1980.

Initially lauded as an icon of African liberation, his rule became steadily more repressive as he clamped down on political opponents.

Disastrous economic and agricultural policies drove the once-prosperous country into the ground, and millions fled abroad.

Mugabe was brought down by army generals in 2017. His deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa was elected president in 2018.

 

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